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  1. #1
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    NYC DT Mini users - question about mods

    I have not ridden a bike regularly in years. However having recently moved I now want to get a bike to explore my new neighborhood of Long Island City as well as the rest of Queens. I also want to start commuting to work from my apartment, over the 59th St. Bridge into Midtown East (about 2-3 miles). I am 5'10" and weigh 165lb. I want a small light bike with a great fold, with fenders and a kickstand that do not interfere with the fold. I am leaning towards the getting the 2009 DT mini and getting it modified. I really like that it has 8 gears with an internal hub. At this time I can't afford a Brompton.

    My questions to you NYC (and non-NYC) DT mini owners are:
    - How difficult is it to put fenders and a kickstand onto the mini which do not interfere with its fold?
    - I am not at all a handy person. Does anyone know of an LBS in NYC (preferably Queens) that could do the mods I am interested in? Would it be best for me to order the parts I need on-line and bring them to the LBS? Exactly what parts would you recommend buying?
    - How much could I expect to pay in total to get the mods I want done?

    If getting the mods I want done proves to be too much of a hassle I may opt to get the Dahon Curve D3, which comes with fenders and a kickstand as well as a rear rack, but only has 3 speeds and lacks the rear suspension of the mini. What I have read on this board indicates that the mini has a better fold than the Curve D3 and the Curve's rear rack is not very useful (do any Curve owners disagree?).

    Thanks very much for any info you can provide.

  2. #2
    The Metropolis, UK
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    Jur modded his Mini brilliantly see:
    Downtube Mini Questions
    Also great review of Mini see:
    Review of Downtube Mini with internal hub

    It is important to note Jur, a regular on these forums is a bit of a modding genius. The average bike mechanic wouldn't be quite as useful so you would need to find a competent minded LBS in NYC. The rack is the hardest mod but the fenders seem relatively easy to achieve.

    If memory serves me right Bikefold and NYC Wheels seems to have good reps in NYC but I'm not sure about their service on the mechanical side. Over to New Yorkers for that!

    Aside from that, it's a great bike for your requirements.

  3. #3
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Fenders is easy; I got mine from Sunrise Cyclery. They don't seem to have on their website right now, maybe they're out of stock; but such fenders certainly exist and are easy to install.

    As for kickstands, I'm a non-believer, so cannot advise there.

    I am a believer in racks, but don't recommend putting a frame-mounting rack on the Mini; there's very little you can put on one. The one Dahon makes for the Curve will fit, though, and if you want one, you can have mine! PM me. A seatpost-mounted rack works pretty well.

    If you don't want to do your maintenance yourself, I suggest you find a bike shop that's on your route to work, or near your home, and develop a rapport with the mechanic there. I'm pretty sure I saw one one in Manhattan a couple blocks north from the foot of the 59th st bridge, so I guess I'd start there.

    If you stand on the 59th st bridge tomorrow around 4:00 PM you will see me and my Mini go by.
    Last edited by rhm; 09-15-08 at 07:26 AM. Reason: edit: don't pm me about the rack, I gave it to Dan.

  4. #4
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    The Curve D3 has a better fold than the 2008 Mini. I am not sure if you will scratch the paint of the Mini (if you mind) if you use a bungie cord to keep it folded. You can also use velcro. I can't say anything about the 2009 Mini since I have not seen one folded yet.

    The D3 rack with the budgie was useless to me, due to heel strike issues and I tried putting some odd sized boxes and books, and it didn't hold them well. However, it worked great for 3 1/2 liters bottles of water. I recommend getting another bungie.

    Do you live in a hilly area? If not, then 3 speeds should be fine. I crossed the Queensboro bridge with the D3 and it was a great work out. You will pass most cyclist since the lowest gear is not that low, but you can always swap the cog for a bigger one.

  5. #5
    hsj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joako View Post
    The Curve D3 has a better fold than the 2008 Mini...
    Can you elaborate why the Curve D3 has a better fold? According to the official sites for both bikes, it seems like the mini has a smaller foot print when folded compares to the Curve. Anyway, I am also trying to decide between the 08/09 mini or 08 Curve D3 for myself and my wife. We love the look of the Curve but the mini seems to be a bit smaller when folded. Does anyone has a picture of the mini & Curve D3 folded up side-by-side?

    Sorry for hijacking this thread.
    Last edited by hsj; 09-15-08 at 07:21 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hsj View Post
    Can you elaborate why the Curve D3 has a better fold? According to the official sites for both bikes, it seems like the mini has a smaller foot print when folded compares to the Curve. Anyway, I am also trying to decide between the 08/09 mini or 08 Curve D3 for myself and my wife. We love the look of the Curve but the mini seems to be a bit smaller when folded. Does anyone has a picture of the mini & Curve D3 folded up side-by-side?

    Sorry for hijacking this thread.
    The handlebars on the 2008 folds on the outer part of the bike and the mini has a big stem that makes the folding width bigger. The dimensions might be for the 2009 Mini and it is also stated "approximately". The D3 fold also looks "cleaner" and it is held together nicely with the magnets. The D3 fold is also sort of a square since the seat post is used as a support, while the Mini has a small protruding part on the bottom bracket used as a support and the fold is more like a triangle.

    Sorry, but I already sold my Curves for the reason that my GF liked the comfort due to the suspension in the Mini. The Mini also seems like a beater (paint seems more resistant to scratches), whereas the Curve looks too pretty to scratch. We prefer to enjoy the ride instead of the bike's aesthetics. As for me I kept the CarryMe due to makeinu's "brainwash" . However, I am planning on getting a second folder for longer rides. I am between the Mini or Speed P8 due to the frame design, and adding a Shimano Nexus hub (don't really dig the Sturmey Archer hub). Yan, if you are reading this, do you sell the Mini or other 20" folders as a frame set?

    I have a picture of the D3 which I took folded. I can take a picture of the Mini folded, but I am not sure if it will help.

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    You don't need a kick stand with the Mini. It folds pretty fast and will stand while folded.

  8. #8
    hsj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joako View Post
    ...I have a picture of the D3 which I took folded. I can take a picture of the Mini folded, but I am not sure if it will help.
    Thanks for the explanation. I would appreciate it if you can take some pics of the mini folded. Thanks again.

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